Denver Nuggets Clinch Game Three Victory over Minnesota Timberwolves
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The Denver Nuggets, the top-ranked team in the Western Conference, have taken a commanding lead in their first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, securing a 120-111 victory in game three. With this win, the Nuggets are now just one game away from a clean sweep and a place in the Western Conference semifinals.
Serbian Star Shines in Game Three
Nikola Jokic, the two-time reigning NBA MVP, had a standout performance in game three, recording a triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. Jokic, who led the league with 29 triple-doubles this season, shot an impressive 9-13 from the field.
"We didn't want to give them life," Jokic said. "We wanted to be the aggressor. We wanted to punch them first." Despite a strong start from the Timberwolves, who entered the game with a 0-2 deficit in the series, the Nuggets' depth and versatility proved too much for their opponents.
The most effective player for the Nuggets was Michael Porter Jr., who scored 25 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns and Malik Beasley scored 27 and 36 points, respectively, for the Timberwolves.
Coach Malone Praises Team's Mature Performance
Nuggets coach Mike Malone was proud of his team's performance, saying, "They handled their business like they're supposed to, like mature teams do." He added, "No disrespect to the T-wolves, this is about us, but we don't want to go back to Denver." The Wolves showed improvement in game three, attacking the basket more effectively than in the first two games.
However, Jokic's skills and dominance proved too much for the Wolves to handle, even after he picked up his fourth foul with 5:51 left in the third quarter. "The offense looks a little different when 'Joke' isn't out there, but we've been making it work," Porter said. "We've just got a lot of dudes who can do a lot of different things." The fourth game of the series is set to be played on Sunday, and the Nuggets will look to close out the series and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.